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    A[rthur]. Conan Doyle. "The Sign of the Four" [appearing in: Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, No. 266]. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, [February, 1890]. First U. S. edition and first appearance of the second Sherlock Holmes story, preceding the first English edition. Octavo (9.25 x 6.125 inches; 236 x 155 mm.). [145-146, "Sign of the Four" title-leaf], 147-308, viii pages (Doyle's story appearing on pages 145-223); frontispiece; in-text illustrations for "Current Notes" and "With the Wits;" fifty-two pages of ads inserted, the first twenty-four at the front of the volume, the rest at the end (with "With the Wits" interspersed); four advertising leaves, pages 9-16, on a different paper stock (grayish). Publisher's side stitched binding in the original wrappers, printed in black and red; rear wrapper and both inner-wrappers with ads; page edges untrimmed. Spine gently leaning; backstrip faintly darkened; joints starting with short closed tears and small chips, one partially extending to the base of the spine; short closed tear (about one inch) extending from the bottom edge of the front wrapper near the joint; fore-edge worn with several minor tears; general light soiling; previous owner signature in ink and penciled (price?) notation. Staples rusted, as expected, causing only minor discoloration; title-page with offsetting from frontispiece. Very good. Housed in a custom clamshell case. Da Waal, 271.

    "Conan Doyle provides a vivid record of a dinner that brought him for the first time in [Oscar] Wilde's company on 30 August [1889]... [Doyle's] reputation seemed to be on the rise when [Lippincott managing editor Joseph M.] Stoddart asked him for his company at supper... his companions were the Irish MP Charles Gill and Oscar Wilde... '[T]he result of the evening," [Doyle recalled in Memories and Adventures], 'was that both Wilde and I promised to write books for Lippincott's Magazine--Wilde's contribution was 'The Picture of Dorian Grey' [sic], while I wrote 'The Sign of Four', in which Holmes made a second appearance.'" (Ian Small, Introduction to The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, Oxford: [2005]. p. xxxii). From the collection of Bob Terry.




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    Auction Dates
    September, 2018
    13th Thursday
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